My friend Maria is a knitting whirlwind. She might spend an inordinate amount of time examining a skein of yarn, but once she decides to buy it anything could happen. She modifies almost every pattern she ever met, and if she gets an idea in her head about what that pattern should be, instructions or no, she will improvise, make corrections, additions, subtractions, whatever, and if it doesn't work out, she'll rip it all out and start again. There's a woman after my own heart!
This year the knitting group made the Willow Cowl by Amelia Lyon for our trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival. Maria made hers in record time, and when both of her daughters wanted one as well - and because it was a fast knit - she agreed. Brianne is pre-teen and Mia is pre-pubescent. After doing a little math, Maria altered the number of stitches and the number of rows of the pattern to make it appropriate for both girls and came up with this:
Mia is modeling Brianne's Tween Willow Cowl. Maria kept the picot edge, reduced the number of stitches by 30 and the number of lace rows by three repeats. The pattern is the same as written with the reduced number of stitches, and the top of the cowl is 12 rows of 2x2 ribbing which reduced the bulk of the cowl.
Good job, Maria! Two cowls down, one pink cowl to go.
Now we get to me, the scaredy cat. I'm working on the Pinstriped Socks by Julia Swart and I decided to use the afterthought heel, as stated in the pattern. I've never done an afterthought heel before, so I did a little research and ended up watching the tutorial by Leslie of The Knit Girllls podcast over and over again.
Looking at the sock as a whole, I'm not so confident about this whole idea.
Problem #1: I think I would have felt better using the regular heel flap or the Fish Lips Kiss heel where I could try on the sock as I go. With this pattern I am unable to do that. That foot is looking mighty short and I can't believe adding a heel is going to make it fit me.
Problem #2: I was afraid to break the yarn or take the needles out of the toe because I'm afraid I'll need to lengthen the foot. I realize that I must have more faith than I thought because eventually I made the choice to break the yarn, but I'm scared and can't take the needles out. Oy!
Problem #3: As I said, I've never done the afterthought heel, but I did pick up the correct amount of stitches,
but now I'm afraid to take the waste yarn out of the heel. Dang! And what color am I supposed to pick up to begin the heel anyway? Double dang!
And don't get me started about my fear of not having enough yarn to finish the second sock! Geez!
Hopefully my next post will be a photo of a pair of socks and the story will be one in which I ended up with socks that fit me - or somebody.